How To Remove Cooking Oil Stains From Clothing

As far as I’m concerned, there are no perfect cooks out there.

Yes, some wonderful cooks make delicious meals, but what I mean is that even those wonderful cooks will make a mess now and then.

Let’s face it, when you’re cooking, you’re eventually going to spill some type of cooking oil on your clothing.

Removing cooking oil stains from clothing can sometimes be very difficult.

It’s especially difficult if you have run it through the dryer and the stain is still there.

If you’re looking for a successful way to remove cooking oil stains, congratulations, you’ve found it here!

Read on for more information on the materials you will need and step by step instructions on how to remove cooking oil stains from clothing.

What You’ll Need

In this section, we discuss all the items and materials you will need to remove cooking oil from your clothes.

You will probably have all of these items in your home.

We give a couple of different options for removing the cooking oil stains just in case you have run out of one item but have the other.

We want this to be as easy and inexpensive as possible.

Paper Towels

The first item you’ll need is some good absorbing paper towels.

These will be used to blot up the stain right after it has happened.

Dull Knife Or Spoon

You can use either a dull knife or a spoon as a substitute for the paper towels if you have run out.

These are both very effective in removing any excess oil.

Clean Toothbrush

This can be an old one that you are getting ready to trash or a brand new one.

Just make sure that it is clean.

The toothbrush is used to scrub off the baking soda after it has absorbed the oil.

Liquid Dish Soap

A good liquid dish soap is needed to remove grease and break down the oil in the fabric.

I try to stay as natural and chemical-free as I can with this.

I use Dawn and have had good results with it.

Hair Shampoo

If you don’t have any liquid dish soap, try using your hair shampoo.

It will break down the oil and grease the same way that the dish soap does.

Baking Soda Or Cornmeal

These items are wonderful for any type of oil-based stain.

They will absorb the oil and pull it up and out of the fabric.

Hot Water

You want to make sure that you use the hottest water possible that is also safe for the fabric.


Lestoil is to be used in extreme cases.

An example of an extreme case is if the stain was not fully removed but then run through the dryer.

Running your clothes that have a cooking oil stain through the dryer is not something you want to do.

However, if this does happen, that is why we have included lestoil in the materials that you’ll need.

I like this one that I found on Amazon.

And that’s it!

The above items are all you need to remove cooking oil stains from clothing.

You probably already have all of these items bringing your cost of removing these stains to zero!

Step By Step Instructions For How To Remove Cooking Oil Stains From Clothing

#1 Remove The Excess Oil

If there are any solid pieces of oil use your spoon or dull knife to scrape them away.

Next, use your paper towels to blot the liquid oil stains up.

#2 Apply Cornmeal or Baking Soda

After blotting up all of the oil that you can get with paper towels, apply the baking soda or cornmeal.

Make sure that you completely cover the stain.

Let it sit for 30 minutes then use an old but clean toothbrush to scrub away the baking soda.

You’ll see that as you scrub off the baking soda, much of the oil will be scrubbed away with it, leaving the remaining stain much easier to remove.

#3 Apply Liquid Dish Soap

Next, you will apply the dish soap or hair shampoo if you have run out of soap.

Pro Tip: Make sure that you use enough so that it soaks through both sides of the fabric.

#4 Let It Sit

Allow the liquid to sit for 5-10 minutes.

As it sits, it breaks down the oil in the fabric.

Pro Tip: Make sure to not let it sit for more than 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes the liquid could start to dry onto the fabric creating another problem.

#5 Check Care Label And Wash

Check your specific clothing care label to determine the water temperature you can use.

Remember, the hotter the better when it comes to removing cooking oil stains.

#6 Air Dry

After the wash cycle, allow the clothing to air dry.

Check the stain.

If it is not completely gone, go through the steps above again.

Make sure the stain is completely gone after air drying before you tumble dry the garment because the heat from the dryer will only set the stain into the fabric further.

Pro Tip:

If, after tumble drying, you see a small hint of the stain, use the Lestoil.

Follow the instructions on the bottle but make sure to use it full strength.

Commonly Asked Questions

Does it matter how long I wait to remove the stain?


The longer the stain sits, the more it sets in, and the harder it is to remove.

This is especially true with oil-based stains.

Do I need to allow my clothes to air dry?

Another Absolutely!

We know it can be a pain, but a damp article of clothing can hide an oily stain.

Running the clothing through the dryer before making sure the stain is completely gone will only set it in further.

It requires a bit of patience, but when the stain is completely removed you’ll be glad you let it air dry.



After following the above steps, you know how to remove cooking oil stains from clothing.

It’s not a hard process and it can save you money in the long run by extending the life of your clothes.

Happy stain removing!